Can I take the urn or ash container of a deceased person to the Netherlands?

If your partner, relative or friend was cremated in a foreign country, you can take the ashes to the Netherlands. You can do so by car and possibly also by air. This depends on the airline.

Wait 1 month

Under Dutch law an ash container must remain at the crematorium for 1 month. So you will have to wait 1 month before taking the ashes to the Netherlands. If you want the take the ashes to the Netherlands earlier, you must request permission from the public prosecutor.

You may need to ask the local authorities for permission as well. Laws and regulations for taking the ashes home are different in each country.

Car: no restrictions on transporting an urn or ash container

After 1 month you can take the urn or ash container to the Netherlands by car. You do not need permission for this.

Air: this depends on the airline

If you want to take ashes on a plane, ask the airline whether this is possible. This depends on the airline.

If you can’t take the ashes on a plane

If you can’t find an airline that will let you take ashes on board a plane, you can ask an international funeral director to transport them to the Netherlands for you. Bear in mind that this will take longer and cost money.

Death certificate and cremation certificate

It is not mandatory to have documents with you if you take ashes to the Netherlands. But it is useful to take along the death certificate and cremation certificate. This will make it easier to answer questions from customs officers and save time. You can request a cremation certificate from the crematorium.


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